Making a major lifestyle change was the start of a completely new career for 38-year-old Lisa Lecheminant.
Just five years ago, Lisa was an overweight stay-at-home mum who loved food and hated exercise. But now she has a thriving business as a personal trainer and moved into her own premises at Lomeshaye Business Village in Nelson, near Burnley, in March.
Battling with weight
Mother-of-three Lisa was at her heaviest after the birth of her second child when she weighed around 15 and a half stone. By 2012, her weight was stuck around the 14 stone mark and she was a dress size 16/18.
Lisa says: “I had been overweight for most of my adult life. I had tried every diet in the world but exercise was the missing link. In 2012, I bought an exercise DVD and did it at home three times a week and lost some weight.”
In 2014, Lisa’s weight had started to plateau so she bit the bullet and joined a gym for the first time. She loved it so much, she decided to become a personal trainer to help other people get fit and lose weight.
She says: “At the beginning I thought ‘why am I doing this?’ Then as I started to see my body change, I started to enjoy it. If someone had told me years ago that I would become a personal trainer, I would have laughed in their face. I didn’t even like exercise but now I love it.
“It doesn’t even feel like going to work and I love helping other people. A lot of my clients love the fact that I know what it is like to be overweight. I still struggle myself as I like to eat.”
Lisa has now been a personal trainer for more than two years. She originally started working in a gym in Burnley but when the gym decided it wanted to make all the self-employed personal trainers into employees, Lisa decided to move into her own premises.
Location, location, location
“I decided to look for somewhere and chose Lomeshaye Business Village because it is in a great location. It’s easily accessible via train and motorway and practically all my clients have come with me.
“The premises are more private so sessions are just me and the client in the room. I have had lots more interest from more vulnerable people who don’t want to join a gym. It has actually boosted my business.”
It took Lisa, who has also competed in bodybuilding contests, two years to reach her goal weight of 9 stone 11 pounds, although she rarely weighs herself now and focuses more on staying fit and toned.
Anyone can change
She believes anyone can transform their body by making a few lifestyle changes.
She says: “Don’t jump in with two feet. Introduce small bursts of exercise two to three times a week and when it becomes a habit, you can up the intensity or length of the training session.
“Focus on small changes and then once they become a long-term habit, change something else.”
Lisa also advises people to stay away from diets, saying: “Diets are things that come to an end and you often end up putting all the weight back on. You need to make gradual lifestyle changes that are going to last forever.”
Looking to the future
Lisa now has big plans for the future. She is hoping to expand her business by eventually renting another room at Lomeshaye where she can teach fitness classes in addition to her existing one-to-one personal training sessions.
Lomeshaye Business Village, where Lisa’s business is based, is a converted Victorian weaving mill, which is home to serviced, non-serviced offices and virtual offices as well as storage, workshops and meeting rooms. Near junction 12 of the M65, the site also benefits from CCTV, free parking and an on-site nursery and café.